Billings Gazette: Daines’ Rookie Mistake

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Montana’s junior U.S. Senator, Steve Daines, was one of the 47 senators who signed an open letter to Iran informing them that any agreement about nuclear weapons made by President Barack Obama would have to approved by Congress.

The 47 senators were all Republicans, so that basically tells us it was a political move – a “gotcha” move because of their hatred for Obama. On March 10, I wrote about this subject and said sending the letter was not the right thing to do. I also added that it’s important when we (the United States) are in diplomatic negotiations with other countries that we present a united front.

In today’s Billings Gazette, the editorial board has decided that “Daines was wrong on Iran letter” and they were pretty blunt about the reasons why.

One key paragraph kind of says it all:

His participation in this half-baked scheme doesn’t just make him look foolish; it has a destabilizing effect on the world and undermines U.S. credibility. In other words, he’s done just the opposite of what should be expected from our leaders: His actions make the world less safe, not more.

The Gazette editorial board did not stop there. They called Daines signing the letter a “rookie mistake.” They also pointed out that Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did not think it was an appropriate role for the senators and the Gazette said that Daines should “know better.”

We have to remember that Daines was Montana’s U.S. Representative for two years and his first term as a U.S. Senator started in January 2015. Daines spent most of his two years as Montana’s lone Representative campaigning for U.S. Senate, so his experience in Washington, D.C., is almost zilch.

We can only hope that Daines will be more careful in the future. I would suggest that when one of his legislative assistants shoves a letter in front of him to sign, he reads it and gives it some thought.

By the way, it’s good to see a major newspaper in Montana hold politicians accountable (even if it’s a few days late) instead of sitting back and letting Montana bloggers do their work for them.

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Published in: on March 17, 2015 at 7:08 am  Comments (11)  
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  1. This is just another example of Goopers trying to obstruct and sabotage Obama. The angry old white folks, especially on Capitol Hill can’t stand to see that uppity black man in the White House succeeding. They can’t stand the thought of him calling the tune.

    He has reached out to the Goopers, they have arrived at agreements and the Goopers renege at the last minute and instead tack on a poison pill.

    He has wielded the authority of his office cautiously and sparingly used the EO powers he has, see this listing. He gave Goopers every opportunity to do the right thing for the people who elected them but they prefer to acquiesce to the corporations that bought them.

    • Such a tale of revisionist history. Obama’s ACA was written by the corporate insurance interests. The republicans were excluded.

      As to your racist finger jabbing rant, remember Condelezza Rice?

      • I wasn’t pleased by cartoons that emphasized her race and gender. Though I was okay with the few that came out after she introed dubmya as her husband.

        If the Goopers are so anxious to get rid of Holder, why are they dragging their feet to confirm Lynch? She is an eminently qualified black woman.

  2. Here’s an Iranian letter to President Obama to consider.

    Now what part of the senator’s letter communicates anything the Iranians did not already know?

    • Craig: The bottom line for me is that our country needs to speak with one voice when dealing with Iran and other countries. It’s wrong for the GOP and/or Democratic members of Congress to show up any President no matter if he is Obama or Bush or anyone else. -JmB

    • That letter is not from an elected Iranian member of government. Cotton’s letter, which was never mailed only posted to the RNC website, is a whole nother matter, You’re comparing apples and oranges again.

      • Sometimes there are bigger issues than a politician’s faux embarrassment. Cotton’s letter did not express anything new to the Iranian officials. However, it did remind Americans of the balance of powers between the branches of government.

        One of those “bigger issues” regards people who are held prisoner for wanting democracy as per the Iranian letter to Obama. Last I checked that was sorta what we as a nation were about, or use to be.

  3. I am not so sure that this is a big a deal as everyone makes of it. There have plenty of similar situations where Democrats set precedence by having been on the other side of the table:

    -Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Assad in 2007.
    -3 House Democrats traveling to Iraq in 2002 to warn Hussein about Bush’s plans to attack Iraq
    -House Speaker Jim Wright meeting with opposition leaders during the Nicaragua-Contra war in 1982 and Senator Kerry negotiated with them in 1985.
    -Sen Ted Kennedy sent an envoy to deliver a message to Russian leaders to ask for help in undermining Reagan’s foreign policy in return for financial assistance in beating Reagan in the 1984 election

    I do no support what the Republicans did or what the Democrats have done in the past…all are mistakes in my mind and yes Daines should have known better.

    I wonder what the Billings Gazette would say about those Democrats and their actions?

    • Barry- thanks. I just think there’s a hatred for this President unlike anything we’ve seen and that’s too bad. – JmB

      • I can’t disagree about that. I think Obama has brought most if it on himself by the positions he takes and claims of transparency that are not there. I believe that it he had reached out to Congress and worked with them, even negotiated fairly with them, the story and his legacy would be different. You can’t make friends by pushing them away…

      • Remember when the Bush hatred manifested itself in Condelezza Rice cartoons?…2423.2423.0.4539.…0…1ac.1.62.img..

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